Everything need to know for travelling in Ireland with a baby or toddler!
Breastfeeding in Ireland
Breastfeeding in public is completely acceptable in Ireland. Some mothers in Ireland say they may get some ‘looks’ or stares’ when breastfeeding in public however, breastfeeding is protected by law, which means that nobody can be asked to stop nursing, to leave a premises, or to use separate facilities. Most large department stores will have mother and baby rooms with a seat to feed your child in if you feel more comfortable feeding in private.
Powdered Formula in Ireland
You can drink the tap water in Ireland and it is similarly treated the the water in the UK. If you are visiting from other parts of the world you may want to buy bottled water as the water may taste slightly different. You will be able to buy formula in many pharmacies and medium to large supermarkets such as Dunnes Stores, Tesco, Supervalu, Lidl, Aldi, Centra and Boots. The brands of formula commonly available include; Aptamil, Cow and Gate, Hipp Organic and SMA. You will also be able to find formula for babies with a dairy intolerance and hungry milk and bottles or ready made formula are widely available. The formula in Ireland is the same as the UK so if you are travelling from here you will not need to worry about bringing formula with you.
Baby Food in Ireland
You will be able to find a wide variety of baby food in supermarkets and smaller shops in Ireland. The most popular brands include; Annabel Karmel, Ella’s Kitchen, Hipp Organic, Heinz and Cow and Gate. You will be able to find a variety of flavours in most small to medium sized supermarkets and in many pharmacies. There is also a good selection of fruit purees, snacks such as rice cakes and corn based finger food, cereals, baby rice and yoghurt. All baby food packaging states whether it contains sugar and sodium.
If you are eating out, most restaurants will provide you with a bowl of soft food for babies or a kids menu for older toddlers and if you are staying in self catering accommodation you should be able to find fresh ,meat, fruit and vegetables locally to cook with. Boots do a range of organic stock, suitable for babies which are handy to make a base for cooking with.
Nappies, wipes, soothers, clothing are all widely available in Ireland. You will be able to buy nappies (Pampers, Huggies and other brands), wipes, soothers in most pharmacies, small shops and larger supermarkets. Clothing is available in all large towns and the main stores where you will be able to buy baby and toddler clothes include Tesco, Dunnes Stores, Mothercare and Boots. There will also be plenty of boutiques in the cities.
Many hotels will allow you to use a microwave to sterilize bottles with a microwaveable sterilizer or microwaveable sterilizer bags but if you not sure that such a service is available it would be best to bring travel sterilizing equipment if your child is still under the age of 6 months (or older if you would like to continue sterilizing). There are many brands of product on the market such as sterilizing tablets and sterilizer bags available, which are great for travel. See our section on formula, food, sterilizing and nappies for more information.
You will need a car seat if you are travelling by car in Ireland. If you are renting a car you can pre book a car seat. If you decide to bring your own car seat you will probably be able to take it on the plane free of charge. See our Airline Policies Section for further information.
When travelling in Ireland a good stroller and a baby carrier would be ideal. In most towns and cities you will find good quality footpaths (sidewalks) however when visiting historical sights you will find uneven surfaces, steps and some dangerous drops and you will need to use a baby carrier here, or for older toddlers a harness would be useful, particularly when visiting some of the castles and old fortresses to keep them safe from falling particularly when exploring the upper floors of these buildings.
Ireland is known for its beautiful green fields and stunning scenery. A lot of this is thanks to the amount of rain the country gets. It can rain at any time and during any season. Even if it looks like a sunny day it is always safer to have a rain cover for your stroller when out and a about in Ireland. Older toddlers should have a good rain coat also and maybe some wellington boots if you will be exploring the countryside. During the summer and even at other times of year the sun can be quite bright so make sure you have sun block. The sun also tends to be quite low so make sure that you bring a parasol or buggy shade to keep the sun out of little one’s eyes when outdoors.
For more tips of the best travel strollers and slings click here. Remember, you will be able to buy all you need in Ireland in case you forget anything!
Using Hotel Babysitting Services – Using a babysitter abroad is not be for everyone but it is your decision. Most good hotels in Ireland will offer babysitting services with experienced babysitters. For information on using babysitting services when abroad and a checklist of questions to ask a babysitter click here.
Health and Medical Assistance
It is important to ensure that you have a good first aid kit with you when travelling overseas. For more information on first aid essentials click here. You will be able to get Calpol and Nurofen for older babies in pharmacies throughout Ireland along with many other items to help if your baby gets sick. Your hotel or local pharmacists will also be able to direct you to the nearest medical centre or GP clinic if your child needs to see a doctor and if there is a medical emergency you can take your child to the emergency room of the nearest hospital or dial 999 or 112 which are the emergency numbers in Ireland (112 works also in all EU countries and from any phone, free of charge). There are no vaccinations required when travelling in Ireland.
If travelling from other European Union member countries to Ireland you should ensure that you and each family member travelling has either the European Health Insurance Card or private health insurance. UK residents can apply at www.gov.uk . This card allows you to get health care covered by the public health system in Ireland. If you have previously applied for a card make sure that it is in date before you travel. Travel insurance should be taken out if you are covered by private health care or if you are travelling from outside of the European Union however check your policy as it may offer you some cover while overseas.
Contact your consular service or embassy if you have been a victim of crime, arrested on suspicion of committing a crime, if you or anyone in your family has a serious illness, experience the unexpected death of a partner or spouse and for help with repatriation after a crisis. Consular offices also provide help in the case of a lost or stolen passport.